The external evaluation of vocational education institutions is defined by basic legal acts, the Primary and Secondary School Education Act and the Vocational Education and Training Act.
The Primary and Secondary School Education Act, Chapter VIII. Article 88, states that in order to improve the quality of educational activities, external evaluation and self-assessment is carried out in school institutions, and it refers to conducting national exams and measuring the level of quality of all components of the national curriculum. It is also stated that external evaluation is conducted by the National Center for External Evaluation of Education and that schools are required to use the results of national exams and all other indicators of educational performance for analysis and self-assessment, to permanently improve the quality of school work. The manner of conducting external evaluation and using the results of evaluation of school institutions shall be prescribed by the Minister.
The Vocational Education and Training Act, Art. 9., states that the system of quality assurance of vocational education is established at the level of vocational education providers and at the level of qualifications. It is also defined that the quality assurance system is based on self-assessment and external evaluation procedures. Self-assessment and external evaluation procedures are carried out in individual vocational education institutions, including direct insight into the work of vocational education institutions and on the basis of national or special exams. The results of self-assessment and external evaluation of vocational education institutions must be used to improve the quality of work and achieve better results. The methodology of external evaluation of vocational education institutions is adopted by the National Center for External Evaluation of Education in cooperation with the Agency.
Croatian Strategy of Education, Science and Technology foresees further development of the quality assurance system and the process of external and internal evaluation. From the Strategy: “Various forms of external evaluation of students’ educational achievements are carried out at the national level (national exams and State Matura exams), and certain models of school self-assessment have been tested. It is estimated, however, that these procedures are also insufficiently interconnected and are not used sufficiently to improve school practices.
With the aim of ensuring and improving the quality of education, it seems important to connect existing and develop new forms of external and internal evaluation and to use their synergy potential more effectively.
According to the Vocational Education and Training Act (Amendments to the Vocational Education and Training Act, Article 8, paragraph 1), vocational education institutions are obliged to participate in the external evaluation procedure.